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“Our Views Are Clear.”

Autumn 2011

VOLUME 6.2

THE TRESCO TIMES STILL FREE AND STILL MAKING SENSE OF SCILLY

BIH Look To St Erth For New Heliport

in the future. The relocation of the heliport will also mean that BIH can directly secure 66 jobs.” The first step in securing planning permission is the approval of Sainsbury’s bid to transform the current Penzance heliport site into a superstore. Council officers have recommended that planning is approved but the final decision has been deferred until 22nd October. The cash generated by the sale of that land is vital in funding the move to St Erth and sustaining the service to the islands. The flight time of the mainland-Tresco route is expected to increase by only around two and a half minutes. On the subject of ticket prices, Mr Jones commented: “We will do our best to keep any price increases as moderate as possible but, as ever, we are hostage to the oil price.”

Mr Jones stated that letters of support from islanders and regular visitors will play an important part in achieving a positive result in the application process. Robert Dorrien Smith said “While there is every confidence that the helicopter service will continue, it is of great importance to the success of the planning application that the enthusiastic voices of both islanders and visitors are heard. I would very much encourage anyone with an interest in keeping our direct helicopter link with West Cornwall to write in support of the application.” To view the plans and download a response form please visit www.tresco.co.uk – a link is on the homepage. The forms or letters of support should be sent to: The Aerodrome Manager, BIH, The Heliport, Penzance, Cornwall TR18 3AP.

Queen of the Isles

the Isles of Scilly Council, Mike Hicks. On her Majesty’s last visit, she enjoyed luncheon at Tresco Abbey, an event that Mr Dorrien Smith remembers well. In fact the same Royal Standard that was raised for the Queen in 2011, had flown above Tresco Abbey in 1967. Mr Dorrien Smith remarked: “We found it in a cupboard in the hall, in very good condition as it hasn’t been used for the last 44 years.” The Queen and Prince Philip travelled down on the Royal Train to Penzance and flew to St Mary’s by helicopter. After a walk around Hugh Town meeting islanders and visitors, as well as a look at the new Five Islands School, the Queen and Prince Philip attended a reception in her honour. Amongst the select band of islanders present, was our Church Warden Eve Cooper, as well as Dean Whillis, Mike Nelhams and devoted royalist Emma Driscoll, pictured above, meeting the Queen. Emma was interviewed by the BBC, declaring: “I’m overwhelmed! She brings such a great presence and joy. I think she lights up the room.”

“ A pleasure to meet you, your Majesty. May I suggest Pearl, week 35?”

With the islands bathed in glorious sunshine, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip paid an official visit to Scilly on 3rd June this year. Their last trip to the Isles of Scilly took place in 1967, when they sailed to the islands in the Royal Yacht Britannia. During the visit to St Mary’s, the Queen was escorted by Deputy Lieutenant of Cornwall, Robert Dorrien Smith, and the Chairman of

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After months of careful negotiation, British International Helicopters have submitted a planning application for the relocation of its existing heliport in Penzance to land a few miles up the A30, close to St Erth railway station. The layout of the proposed heliport is similar to that of the Penzance heliport, with ample parking spaces for visitors and staff. The planning application for the St Erth heliport was submitted on Monday 19th September. The proposals for the new heliport can be viewed or downloaded at www.tresco.co.uk along with a consultation response form. Tony Jones, Managing Director of BIH, said: "We have been operating the helicopter service to the Isles of Scilly since 1964 and we are committed to doing all we can to continue running this service

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Bringing the Last Piece of England to the World


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Insular Things Congratulations to Max and Justin Walters on the birth of their beautiful daughter Lexi, sister to Joey and Freya, on 3rd June this year at Treliske Hospital in Truro. Lexi weighed in at a bonny 8lb 12oz. Congratulations also to island girl Sasha Parkes, who graduated with a 2:1 in Law from Warwick University in July. Sasha returned home for her summer hols, which inevitably saw the joyful reforming of Tresco and Bryher’s rock and roll institution, Noxious, along with Will Ash and Bryher’s David Dan and Andrew Hulands.

Fond Farewells As is so often the case at this time of year, Tresco bids farewell to some of its residents as they depart for pastures new. No-one is going quite so far as Ashley Tuck and Oliver Plante. The couple are moving to Canada, Ashley’s home nation. Ashley has worked as a receptionist for Tresco Estate for nearly four years, first at Hell Bay before coming to the Island Hotel in 2010. Oliver arrived in Oct 2005 as the New Inn’s receptionist before transferring his loyalties to the IT Dept. Ollie’s operatic talents and sense of humour always made disfunctional technology rather more entertaining than it should have been! Ashley and Oliver are moving to Toronto, where Ashley is looking to work in the travel business and Ollie will be continuing to work in IT. We wish them great success. James Druce is also leaving Tresco, though he will be nearer to home than Toronto. James will be moving to King’s Lynn to take 6 A Levels in a year, in order to qualify for Medical School. So he is looking forward to a slower pace of life... James has lived on Tresco for the past seven years and will be much missed, not least by both Accounts and Personnel Depts for whom he worked, but also by all islanders who own a computer, the Coastguard, the Co-responders, the Tresco Triathlon, the yachtsfolk and, most of all, Uncle Dean Whillis. James may also be familiar to readers from his exploits as a member of Scilly Mission on last year’s Mongol Rally, which raised over £15,000 for Cystic Fibrosis. Not content with all that

achievement, James is about to publish a book about the rally - a proof copy of which is currently in the hands of Bill Bryson! As is evident from the above, James will be much missed...Good Luck with what will certainly be an “awesome” career. For those readers who wish to find out more about the Mongol Rally and in particular the exploits of James, Will Ash, Nick Mackey and Pete the Saxo, then look no further than the newly published “You want breakfast NOW?”. Apart from being an absolute must for anyone contemplating a drive to Ulaan Bataar, it is an hilarious account of the ultimate road trip and will make an ideal Christmas present for everyone you know! (ISBN 9781-4476 5963-1) Another island departee is Gardener Anton Myers, who is going north up the west coast to a new job in Scotland. Anton came to Tresco from London in early 2007 and since then has worked tirelessly on the Cottage gardens. Anton is going to take on the gardens at Ardchattan Priory, near Oban, where we wish him every success. Remember that you can keep up to date with life on Tresco both on our Tresco Island Facebook page and on Twitter Tresco_Times.

Victorian Values At School

Susanna Gates writes: “The children at Tresco & Bryher Base have been learning what it's like to be in the services industry. In July, we opened our school garden to the public in the form of a Victorian Garden Cafe. Children had made all the cakes and served teas to the visitors. We had a fantastic couple of days, meeting lots of people who were interested to learn about life and school here on Tresco. Many lovely comments were made about the polite and well mannered pupils. We raised over £700 which we gave to the St Nicholas Church restoration project. A rewarding two days was enjoyed by all.

The efforts of the schoolchildren on behalf of the church are much appreciated by us all but none more so than our indefatigable Church Warden, Eve Cooper. Eve writes: St Nicholas’ Church – There has been an excellent start to our Restoration Appeal with a current total of just over £6,000. This includes many generous donations from island visitors and friends from the mainland. A special mention must be made of the contribution by Tresco School from the Victorian Event. To add to our fund-raising, we still have Church tea-towels at £3.50. New this year are packs of notelets (5 cards) for £2.50, with pictures of the Church and the West (rose) window. These can all be purchased by post – just send cheques payable to PCC of the Isles of Scilly to: Eve Cooper , 5 Bay Row, Tresco, Isles of Scilly TR24 0PY. Please add postage/packing of 65p per tea towel/pack of notelets (just £1 for two packs). Many thanks to all those who have already given donations.

The schoolchildren had another brush with the past in July as they took part in Valhalla Day at the Abbey Gardens. Led by wood-carver and figurehead conservator, Steve Conway, the children learnt about the figureheads and then made their own out of chicken wire and plaster bandages (see below!). Along with over ninety island children from Scilly’s primary schools, the Tresco and Bryher schoolkids were among the first to enjoy the new Valhalla Children’s Trail. The trail is aimed at accompanied under 11s and involves shipwreck and survival in the Abbey Gardens. The key is to find certain useful plants in the garden, all of which give clues as to the identity of a rescue ship for the marooned sailors. All children under 16 enjoy free admission into the Abbey Gardens. The trail packs are available from the garden entrance and cost £1. Curator Mike Nelhams said: “Valhalla Day was a real success and a great way to involve all the islands’ primary schools. The trail has proved to be a very popular way for parents to amuse their younger kids while visiting the gardens.” For further info go to the gardens page on www.tresco.co.uk


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Off-Islanders Abroad

Island Sporting News For the Tresco & Bryher Cricket Club, the 2011 season has not been the most successful in terms of results. Though the Club has only recorded two wins, the level of enjoyment has been extremely high. The focus has been on development with several young players coming to the fore, in particular Henry Driscoll-Johnson, Hamish Hamilton and Luke Hamilton. Pictured above are the teams from the annual Islanders vs. Timesharers match, which saw the Timesharers reclaim the Wilson Cup. A very fine innings of 76 retired from Ben Marchant put the Timesharers in an unassailable position. Chasing a total of 136, a blistering 34 from Henry D-J was the only real reply made by the Islanders, who made 80 in their innings. As always, everything felt much better once the teams had made their way to the New Inn for post-match refreshments. The Off-Island Triangle Tournament was convincingly won by St Martin’s, though T&BCC did record their second win of the season that day, so it wasn’t all bad! On the water, Tresco and Bryher Gig Club has had a quiet season after the success of the World Champs. The Mena-vaur has been out of action all season and is currently on St Mary’s being renovated by Peter Martin. The Club has been represented by both a Men’s and Ladies’ Crew in the Czar in the inter-island races.

Early summer saw the second Tresco Triathlon take place with 48 competitors. The course began with a swim from the hotel slip to the Green Beach side of Old Grimsby quay, folllowed by a 12 mile cycle and a 3 mile run. The overall winner was Rob Carrier from St Mary’s and the first lady past the post was Helen Pearce, also of St Mary’s. Tresco was well-represented with 14 entrants, all of whom did us proud. Rosie Felton deserves very honourable mention as the 3rd placed lady and there were four of Tresco’s finest in the top 10: Ross Christopher, Alex Christopher, Peter Hingston and Doug Percival. Ross Christopher particularly delighted the home crowd with a battling performance that saw him come in 3rd place overall, having been in 40th place at the end of the swim! Organisers James Druce and Peter Marshall were delighted with the event and with the amount of money raised for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust - over £5,500!

Ross Christopher... the Flying Farmer

Annual Tresco Fete

The annual Tresco Fete took place in perfect conditions this summer, which we would like to think confirms the notion that the sun shines on the righteous rather than the fact that we were just very fortunate to have a sunny day in August. There was a tremendous turn-out from both locals and visitors, all enjoying a range of stalls, games and refreshments on the sports’ field at Old Grimsby. Such traditional fete delights as the tombola, white elephant, coconut shy and home-made cake stalls, were supported by the BBQ, Bouncy Castle and Rowing machine challenge. Young singer Polly Money provided musical accompaniment and, for the adults, the event was lubricated with Pimms and Real Ale, courtesy of Ales of Scilly and St Austell Brewery. Chief organisers, Nicola Christopher and Becky Brint, were delighted by the day: “We would like to thank everybody involved for their enthusiasm and generosity, from the stall holders to the visitors, and the Estate for its support. We managed to raise over £5,500, which will be shared between Tresco Community Centre and the Tresco and Bryher Gig Club.”

A few weeks ago, the Editor and his wife managed to slip away to the mainland for a few days and took advantage of the opportunity to visit a couple of establishments with strong Tresco connections. As we headed up-country to Yorkshire, we stopped for a night in Bristol at No.38 Clifton, recommended by the travel editor of The Times. This recently-opened boutique bed and breakfast is the brainchild and baby of Tresco’s Adam and Michael Dorrien Smith. No.38 is a superbly-renovated Georgian merchant’s house, with 10 stylish bedrooms. It is an absolute gem. We stayed in Room 3, with its free-standing rolltop bath and panoramic views over the rooftops of Bristol as well as Clifton Downs. The superking size bed was wonderful and the bathroom palatial. There is a delightful garden terrace and an extremely good breakfast. The Dorrien Smith brothers both studied in Bristol and felt there was a lack of boutique accommodation in the area. Adam commented: “Having worked as a property developer and set up a gastro-pub with Heston Blumenthal’s souschef, I was looking for something else. When I saw the old B&B at 38 was for sale, I thought it was a golden opportunity. We wanted to take the traditional bed and breakfast and turn it into something special.” “There’s no formal reception and it’s all quite laid back. I want it to feel like guests have come to stay in a friend’s lovely Clifton townhouse for a night, rather than a hotel or B&B.” Along with Adam and Michael’s, there are two other Tresco faces that you may well recognise – Shona and Jarek, who worked on Tresco for a number of years, both at the Island Hotel and for the Cottages, and now manage No.38. On our return journey we were catching the morning flight, so stayed at the Old Coastguard in Mousehole, a 10 minute drive from the heliport. Two brothers are at the helm here too. Charles and Edmund Inkin have achieved notable and award-winning success with their dining pubs, The Gurnard’s Head, near Zennor, and the Felin Fach Griffin in Brecon. With close links to Tresco, they took over the Old Coastguard in June and have great plans for the hotel, bar and restaurant. The fishing port of Newlyn is just down the road, so it is no surprise that the menu at the Old Coastguard has an excellent selection of fish dishes. We enjoyed a very fine dinner, overlooking the sea. Later on the Mousehole Male Voice Choir happened to drop by and, enlivened by a glass or two of ale, sang beautifully in the bar. With a bright moon shimmering on Mount’s Bay and the harmonious voices of the Mousehole choir as the soundtrack, it was a wonderful and memorable Cornish evening.

www.number38clifton.co.uk 01179 466905 www.oldcoastguardhotel.co.uk 01736 731222


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Page 4 Tresco Times The schooner Gloria - goes to sea for miles and miles and miles and miles...

Who’s in port...

Photo by Jean Jarreau megayachtpictures.com

It’s always a great pleasure to see Tresco channel bristling with masts and this summer has seen some handsome craft making use of our moorings. A particularly beautiful example was the Gloria, a 38m Staysail schooner rig, with a displacement of 166 tons. She’s owned by ex-Tresco Timesharer and rock legend, Pete Townshend, who was onboard with his skipper and crew of five. It is always gratifying to see old island acquaintances doing well for themselves. The original owner was Swedish ship owner Michael Krafft, who had her built on the

The Governor in the Garden Photo courtesy Bank of England

and other notes from Mike Nelhams’ Garden Diary “The Bank of England” is a phrase that always excites comment…it has such a solid and historical feel about it. Earlier this year, Tresco received a visit from the Governor of this illustrious institution in the form of Sir Mervyn King with his wife Barbara and some of his colleagues who are keen gardeners. Sir Mervyn was on a fact-finding tour of the Isles of Scilly and in particular held a meeting with Robert Dorrien Smith to assess the economic realities of running a business in one of the more remote areas of the country. He was able to take time to make a visit to see the plants in the Abbey Garden. Sir Mervyn has a particular interest in Proteas and we shall be sending a small selection to him at a later date.

When in the garden with Gaia (pictured above), David said he always considered her his finest work and we could all tell through his emotion on the day that he meant it. His personality and enthusiasm for life is infectious and we hope to see him on Tresco again very soon. On the international front, a very exotic group arrived from Sicily, Italy. (As opposed to Scilly, Cornwall). We were pleased to see and welcome the family members of FARO plants. “Piante Faro” was established in Sicily forty years ago and now covers an area

20 Years of Gaia in the Garden

Over twenty years ago the garden took receipt of the sculpture “Gaia” followed quickly by the “Tresco Children”. Both created by David Wynne and commissioned by the Dorrien Smiths. Pictured above is a crated-up Gaia arriving in the gardens all those years ago. Heaving her into position are (from left) Tony Morris, David Wynne, Ron Gleadle, Robert Dorrien Smith, Paul Lawrence, Dave Inch and Dennis Jenkins. David paid a visit with his daughter and friends to say hello to his creations and to drink as much champagne as he could lay his hands on. He has always had style!

of 500 with a further 40 hectares of greenhouses for high quality production. Over 800 species are grown with more than 5,000 varieties of plant. The company has both landscape and maintenance divisions with project undertaken across the world. It is with other botanic gardens across Britain that Tresco has formed a partnership alongside Faro to trial plants and determine how they acclimatise in different areas of the country. We hope that it will be a long and fruitful partnership. Of course the offer to the Garden Curator to visit Sicily to view the nursery and the family winery may have of course something to do with it...

design of a classic pre-war schooner. As one might expect from all that maritime experience, Gloria is a fine mix of beautiful lines , beautiful interiors and beautiful sailing. Another of her previous owners is Peter de Savary, who describes her as the best boat he’s ever had. She races regularly in competitions such as the Newport Bucket Race, though Mr Townshend modestly claims that she does better when he is not aboard. Last year’s boating highlight was probably the visit paid to Tresco by the Blue Bird and her owner. Built for Sir Malcolm Campbell in 1938, the Blue Bird was lovingly restored for Tara Getty in 2006/7.

Memorial to John and Betty Hamilton. Many readers will have fond memories of John and Betty Hamilton. Not only did they manage the Island Hotel for some years, John became a celebrated artist, known for his paintings of the islands, as well as a variety of maritime subjects. Tresco now has a handsome new bench and plaque in their memory. Their son Edward Hamilton writes:” The dedication was on Friday June 10th at 5:30. We were delighted that there were so many people on Tresco that still remember Mum and Dad, particularly as Dad died almost 18 years ago. Over 40 islanders and visitors who knew them, walked to the site below Blockhouse, despite the cool, blustery evening. I sailed off to the Caribbean when I was 24 and although we visited my parents most years and later took the timeshare week at the Moorings, there were people there that I hadn't seen in 40 years! I gave a very short address, essentially thanking everyone for coming. It really was wonderful to see so many familiar faces. Thanking Robert Dorrien Smith (who was there) for his permission and his help in placing the bench in this spot. Mum and Dad loved this view and the islands off Old Grimsby - the site of many family barbecues. Dad's ashes are scattered below Menavaur. Thanking Janey and Sam for commissioning and installing the bench, creating the beautiful plaque and making this whole idea a reality. Particularly thanking Mum and Dad for originally making the decision to come to Tresco and for the wonderful childhood they gave us. Tresco will always be a part of our lives - ours and both our families! Everyone toasted Mum and Dad with champagne.”


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Adrift with Eddie Birch

This issue, the Tresco Times Heritage and Transport Correspondent guides us through the perils of shipping flowers fifty years ago. One flower season there were so many flowers on Tresco that the Estate workers would start packing flowers at 4am and not finish until 9.30pm that evening. The Tean would come up to Bryher loaded with

goods, drop them off and then load up the Bryher flowers. These would be taken back to St Mary’s for the Scillonian, before returning with Tresco’s goods. The Tean would go back to St Mary’s with a barge and deck cargo of Tresco flowers for the steamer. At about 10pm the Black Swan would come into the quay for more flowers. One night the tide was going out like a drain. We put the last box on board the Black Swan and Peter Bastian, the island’s Undermanager, asked Clarence Handy to drive his tractor out into the water so he could get aboard. Peter got onto the bonnet of the tractor and Clarence drove to the Black Swan. The Under-manager climbed onto the boat but when Clarence tried to come astern, the tractor got stuck. Clarence, myself and Ken Jenkins were now left on the beach with the job of getting the tractor out. Ken said to me to get another tractor, the David Brown Cropmaster. Now this was a tractor without any headlights on her – all we had to work by was the light of the moon! I went across the beach and we

Birdman David Rosair writes of Autumn on Tresco... Autumn is here, with that lovely crisp feeling to the air in the mornings. What will turn up this year I wonder? Well it’s all to do with wind, as they say in ornithological circles! And on Tresco, the level of the waters on both the Great Pool and Abbey Pools is crucial to one group of migrant birds during the Autumn – waders. As the helicopter comes into land directly over the Abbey Pool, I can see plenty of mud around the fringes – excellent. That bodes well, especially if the Great Pool is in a similar state. After settling into the New Inn we decide, as the sun is shining and there is a light north-easterly wind, to stroll down to the Swarovski hide overlooking the Great Pool.

Discovering the islands’ past with Katharine Sawyer at Hell Bay Many visitors to Tresco will be familiar with King Charles’ Castle, which forms a prominent feature on the north-western side of Castle Down. Although it is very obvious as you walk across Castle Down, it is surprisingly inconspicuous from Tresco Channel where the view is dominated by Cromwell’s Castle. King Charles’ Castle was built between 1550 and 1554. It was one of a large number of defensive sites designed to

Walking down towards New Grimsby, a smallish Dunnock-like bird but with a longish tail and black & grey markings on the upperparts flits off the granite stone wall into the field – a Wryneck! A classic early Autumn migrant, and given the wind direction and overall weather pattern, clearly to be expected on Scilly. Actually Europe’s smallest woodpecker which used to nest sparingly in south-east England, the Wryneck is sadly now just an uncommon migrant with the Latin name Jynx torquilla, since the bird is capable of turning its headaround through 360 degrees! Down at the Great Pool we now eagerly scan the muddy corners and fringes for waders – the tide is nice and high [which pushes any shorebirds feeding on the open shore back onto the Pool]. A ringing “tu-tutu” indicates the presence of a flock of eight protect England from attack by the French or Spanish following Henry VIII’s break with the Roman Catholic church in 1533. The castle is positioned to protect the important sheltered anchorage in Tresco Channel as well as the harbour at New Grimsby. It was originally called Tresco Castle, its present name being of 19th century origin. It has domestic quarters for its garrison on the landward side and gunports on the seaward side. There was originally an upper storey of gunports in addition to the surviving lower storey and two of the upper gunports have

took the ropes off the barge that was alongside the quay. By this time the tide was starting to flood, so we kept the the engine running hard and with the David Brown and another tractor, we dragged her out at about 1am.We put the ropes back on the barge and made our ways home about half an hour later. Early the next morning, Ken came up to me in the flower field, where I was picking, and said to me: “Have you seen the barge, Ed?” I said that I hadn’t. “ She’s aground over on Samson!” said Ken “ We forgot to tie her up properly last night…how are we going to get her back without Jack Bean (the General – Manager) finding out?” I suggested to Ken that he go and see Laurie Terry, Tresco’s harbourmaster, and ask if he could help bring the barge back when she’s afloat. Laurie and Ken made Right - Packing flowers in the old farm sheds. From left - Miss Wood, Mrs Terry, Mrs Lake, Eddie Birch and Mrs Darling. Greenshanks huddled together on the exposed stones with several Redshanks mixed in with them – the dull greenish “shanks”, whiter underparts and greyer upperparts of the Greenshanks setting them apart from their smaller cousins with their bright orangey-red legs and “dirtier” brownish plumage. Scanning carefully along the water’s edge below Simpson’s Field yields the usual mixed flock of Greater, Herring & Lesser Blackbacked Gulls, several Oystercatchers, one Little Egret and a “dirtier” creamy-plumaged “egret” roosting, with bill hidden – Spoonbill! Regularly now “summering” in Britain, the Eurasian Spoonbill is hopefully going to expand its recent successful breeding on East Anglia and maybe even one day, along with the Little Egret, nest on Scilly. Suddenly it wakes up and commences its characteristic “swishing” feeding action with its unmistakable spatular-shaped bill. Excellent! Time to visit the world-famous Abbey Garden, lunch and over to the Abbey Pool to see if any more waders have dropped in en route to southern climes. Again carefully “scoping” the muddy fringes reveals just two waders, one much smaller than the other and sporting gingery-brown upperparts and obvious white mantle “V’s with a very short bill – a juvenile been reconstructed and now stand within the semi-hexagonal firing area. The domestic range includes a hall, a kitchen, with its well-preserved fireplace and bread oven, and two small bedchambers. There is a guardroom outside the main entrance. During the first half of the 17th century a large, earthen rampart was built around the landward side of King Charles’ Castle to protect it from attack across Castle Down.


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their way over to Samson at high tide and managed to get her back alongside the quay without Jack Bean knowing anything about it. That particular load was made up of 1800 boxes of flowers! The crew of the Black Swan that night was Mike Pearce, Peter Bastian, Dom Sewick and Laurie Terry. The crew would not have picked up their moorings until about 2am – loading the Scillonian back then was not a quick job. In those days, all the flower boxes were tied together in twos and loaded on to the barge loose. They were then loaded on to the Scillonian by the side door into the hold. There were no pallets in those days!

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Little Stint, Europe’s smallest wader and with the upperpart plumage clearly indicating the age of the bird, as to be expected at this time of year. The second wader, larger, again showing whitish mantle “V’s, but with a clear greyish “pectoral” band across the breast and dull yellowish-green legs proves to be a Pectoral Sandpiper, a scarce but regular migrant from North America/Eastern Siberia. Which way around the globe has it travelled to reach Scilly I wonder and that’s the fascination of migration don’t you think? A strong south-westerly front is forecast for the day after to-morrow so a change of visiting birds I suspect! Talking of plenty more to come, before we know it Spring will be just around the corner, so why not come over to Tresco/Bryher for a Tour “Birds, Flowers & Butterflies” with David: April 25-30: Hell Bay, Bryher April 30-May 5: New Inn, Tresco For full details of prices and bookings please contact: David Rosair, Island Ventures Tel: 01227 793501 Email: drosair@aol.com www.islandventures.co.uk

However, this did not prevent the Parliamentarian soldiers, fresh from their successful capture of the Blockhouse on the eastern side of Tresco and supported by their ships in Tresco Channel, from capturing the castle in April 1651. King Charles’ Castle, although an excellent lookout, is not well positioned for defending Tresco Channel as it was difficult to depress the guns sufficiently to fire on enemy ships in the Channel. This – and the damage done to the castle during the Parliamentarian attack – seems to be why it was replaced by Cromwell’s Castle, the building of which started in 1651. Both King Charles’ and Cromwell’s Castles will be visited during the four night

Tresco-born author and editor of the Marine Quarterly, Sam Llewellyn continues to look back at the lives of his Dorrien Smith great-aunts, Charlotte, Innis, Mary, Gwen and Cicely Another extract from an interview with Charlotte ‘Babs’ Dorrien Smith, conducted by the late Molly Mortimer for The Scillonian in the early 1960s.It gives a picture - sometimes brilliantly sunlit, sometimes dark and tragic, at all times individual - of life on Tresco between the late 1800s and the end of the First World War. We had to be up by seven in the morning to feed the animals and the birds in the duckery (which had emus, cranes, flamingoes, ducks, swans, Chinese geese, ostriches and peacocks at one time)and California quail, which hatch about the size of a bumble bee. David Smith, the gamekeeper, a wonderful man with birds, taught us how to rear them. After he retired he still went fishing. One day when he was 94 he went out in a dense fog alone and refused to let the launch men tow him home. Both the lifeboat and the launch hunted for two days, but they never found him. We had school from 9.30-12.00 and from 2.30-4.00, and then we were free. Our governess had nothing to do with us outside school. We had our workshop where we learned to carve wood, turn metal and model boats; we gardened and set eel lines. Officially we were not allowed to sail until we could swim. But on the freshwater pool we had an old mahogany dugout canoe that came in from a wreck. We took it in turns to sit in the canoe with a bath towel and mop handle. The we tied sheets to our bootlaces, stuck our feet over the side and sailed across the pond. Guests at the Abbey said, ‘Fancy letting your daughter go in that canoe!’ Our father said, ‘It’s two foot water and four foot mud. If they fall in,

archaeological breaks which will be based at the Hell Bay in 2012. Guests will be guided by Katharine Sawyer, the islands’ resident archaeologist and local historian.

Aunts Ahoy!

more fools they!’ Once I was invited to a new year’s dance in Penzance in a northeast gale. I did not dare not go. It was four hours before we got to Seven Stones. I joined Captain Hooper in the wheelhouse, frozen and soaked. Once for three consecutive waves we never saw the foc’sle head – only the mast sticking up out of the water. But I got to the ball and returned next day in three hours with a fair wind. Horatio Jenkins, our boatman for 43 years, was like a second father, and brought us all up the way we should go. Sometimes if we said, ‘Let’s take a reef out,’ he would answer, ‘Courage without conduct is like pudding without fat. The devil,’ he added, ‘might make a fine sailor if he’d only look aloft.’ We were not allowed the steam launch, but on Wednesday and Saturday – half-holidays – we sailed with Horatio to St Mary’s to get the mail and had a good many squalls and learned how to lay to, reef and drop the peak. All the girls sailed and raced at Cowes. Innis, a pioneer in ocean sailing, was the first woman to win the PlymouthSantander race, for which she was made a life member of the Royal Ocean Racing Club. Gwen went round the world and was the first woman to cross the Great Divide in the Arctic Circle by the Rat River Route, canoeing down the Mackenzie, across the Yukon, and through Alaska to the Pacific. She paid her way by selling her watercolours, sent nearly 300 types of flower to Kew and collected butterflies, now part of the British Museum Watney collection.

The details of the holidays are: Based at Hell Bay 26 to 30 March 2012 2 to 6 October 2012 Visits to archaeological sites on St Mary’s (plus the Isles of Scilly Museum), Samson, Tresco (plus the Abbey Garden), St Agnes and Gugh Cost: £750 including helicopter, 4 nights’ DBB, boat trips, entrance charges, evening slide show, holiday insurance. Contact Katharine on 01720 423326 or Hell Bay 01720 422947


TT autumn 2011_Layout 1 26/09/2011 11:17 Page 8

THE TRESCO TIMES OUR VIEWS ARE CLEAR

EDITORIAL Many glasses have been raised this year in the editor’s office - nothing new there you may say - but this year I have had an excellent excuse provided by the 20th anniversary of the very first Tresco Times. As the year 1991 coincides with my own arrival on Tresco, as a callow horticultural student at the Abbey Gardens, the anniversary has a personal resonance too. Lots has happened in the intervening years (war, famine, earthquakes, baldness…) but one of the most important global developments is our increased awareness of environmental issues. Twenty years ago it would have been editorial suicide to have encouraged readers to unsubscribe to paper copies but, in 2011, it actually seems the height of good sense. Our website www.tresco.co.uk now has a rather snazzy Tresco Times page and readers can be alerted to new editions by email. As we are being constantly reminded, lessening the size of our personal carbon footprint is extremely important. The Tresco Times would like to do its bit in this regard! The online Tresco Times is also posted on the website a couple of weeks earlier than it is posted through your letter box. Should you wish to change your subscription to our digital version rather than the paper copy then simply email us at trescotimesonline@tresco.co.uk . Please be sure to include your current address and postcode, so that we can remove you from our Tresco Times mailing list. Now, having extolled the planet-saving virtues of paper-free reading, I think it also my duty to point out that this is not the only publication with a fine Tresco lineage. Tresco-born Sam Llewellyn’s The Marine Quarterly is an absolute must for anyone who likes the sea and literature. I have had to remove my copies from the editorial office as they proved too distracting. Beautifully produced, I recommend The Marine Quarterly heartily as a terrific read and a most excellent use of paper.

Editor: Alasdair Moore Tresco Times, Tresco, Isles of Scilly. TR24 0QQ t:01720 422849 f:01720 422807 editor@tresco.co.uk www.tresco.co.uk

LETTERS Dear Editor, Sad to say 'Tersancta' will not be visiting Tresco this year, having done so every year since 1986. After Jean's death on Christmas Day 2007 I sailed over sole at the age of 90 & 91 in 2008 and 2009, but this year it's Trelisk for me, for cardioversion. Greetings to Rose, Graham the bike, the crew of Firethorn and your Harbour Master and guardian angel of visiting yachtsmen, Henry Birch. The attached photograph of 'Tersancta' was taken by Ellen McArthur in Mounts Bay on her circumnavigation of Britain in 1996. Yours sincerely, R.B. Eliott, a true Tresco / Bryher devotee. Lerryn, Lostwithiel, Cornwall. Further to an editorial enquiry about Tersancta, the Tresco Times was pleased to receive another letter from Mr Elliott: Dear Alasdair, Since you asked, I offer the following rambling potted history, any part of which you are free to use for what ever purpose; as you wish. Yours sincerely, Ronald. Trimaran ‘TERSANCTA’, a brief history ‘Tersancta’ (Meaning thrice blessed- one blessing per hull and no champagne) was built during 1967 & 1968 by The Rev. Clemantine Gordon (an Oxford graduate), of The United Reform Church. The Rev. Gordon constructed her trimaran in the old First World War seaplane sheds at Brightlingsea Essex. She really did do the whole build herself, save for raising the mast and the launching. The Rev. Gordon followed Hedley Nicols’ ‘Islander’ design with modifications. These modifications were advised by her brother Dr. James Edward Gordon, Prof. of Structures, Reading. He knew that some of Hedley Nicols’ trimarans had returned to harbour as catamarans! Both men had worked at R.A.E. Farnborough in the Structures Dept. during W.W.2., testing airframes, including wooden airframes e.g. the Mosquito fighter-bomber and the Horsa Glider. 'Tersancta' is built just like a Horsa glider, with stringers on frames clad with a double diagonal plywood cascophen glued skin.

Clem, as the Rev. Gordon was known to her friends, sailed 'Tersancta' single handed up the East coast to Newcastle, back down and round Dover, across the Channel to Belgium and France, back to The Isle of Wight, then West round Lands End , on up to the Hebrides and back down South to the upper reaches of Milford Haven, mooring her in the Cledou river off Picton Castle. After we bought her, we moved her to the river bank oposite the castle below Mrs. Rosser’s cottage (she was daughter of the last Landshipping to Picton ferryman). . Clem sold her house in Witney, Oxon and went to North Island, New Zealand. Here she founded St. Isaacs Retreat, high above the banks of Opononi Harbour, from where her great uncle had shipped hardwood timber to the Roya Navy in Sidney. Her grave is there. I met her first at an Amateur Yacht Research Society meeting in London circa 1970 and finally in a care home in Kaikohe not far from Opononi. Truly a most remarkable woman. My wife Jean and I totally restored ’Tersancta’ starting on the river bank and then at East Lanion Marine, Pembroke Dock, encouraged by Robin O’Hara and his family, who started and owned the yard there. We sailed from there in 1986 to Ouistreham Normandy, where our daughter then lived, stopping along the way and back to the Scillies for our first visit, which has been an annual event ever since. Latterly, with Henry Birch's help, we always moored off Breton Rock, my most favourite place in the whole world.

Picture of Tersancta taken by Ellen McArthur on her trip round Britain. The record-breaking yachtswoman rafted up with the Elliotts, who made her supper and lent her a chart for her passage to Plymouth.

20 Years of The Tresco Times 1991 -2011...still free and still making sense of Scilly.

The late Richard Barber - the heart of the Tresco Times.

With the remakable announcement of “Good News on Sewage!” on its front page, the first Tresco Times burst on to the world of international media in 1991. Edited by Wendy Gleadle, only a few hundred copies were printed. That same year saw the arrival of Richard and Kathy

Photo by Miklos Varga

Page 8 Tresco Times


TT autumn 2011_Layout 1 26/09/2011 11:17 Page 9

Page 9 Tresco Times

Photo by Miklos Varga

LETTERS

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There’s Cassiterite in them thar hills... that’s tin to you and me. Regular visitor to Tresco and geologist Barry Gamble writes to the Tresco Times of an important discovery made by him near Piper’s Hole on Castle Downs that could prove a vital jigsaw piece in our understanding of Tresco’s past. Dear Editor, On previous visits I have looked several times at Governor Godolphin's mid-17th surface and shallow underground trials for tin on Castle Down. I went back with my family, Caroline, Danica and Hal, to have an evening look at the pits and trenches: on Google Earth there is a line of workings stretching along strike for about 680 yards, on a heading of 62°. I started down at Piper's Hole and looked along the strike of the pits and then walked across the strike in a couple of places. We stopped to watch a couple of basking sharks, after having scrambled down to the coast path. Under a bright and low evening sun, I found a specimen of cassiterite in the cliff slope that carried a small but rich sprinkling of crystals

Boro-ing from Down Under Dear Editor, I have been reading some of the online editions of the Tresco Times. My husband's great grand parents Richard Ellis Prideaux, son of John and Ann Prideaux and Ruth Ann Jenkin, daughter of Walter and Peggy

You say Borough and I say Boro...

Barber on Tresco, with Richard assuming the mantle of Editor. He was to remain at the helm of the Tresco Times until his sad death in 2010. This period saw the print run of the Tresco Times soar to the giddy heights of 45,000 per issue. Over the years, headlines have varied from the parochial to the nationally important. There have been some controversial moments, not least a suggestion that copies of the Tresco Times were to be incinerated on St Mary’s, following a possible libel action!

the pebble from Par beach hut on St Martins (though very small tin content) and a reliable report of "minute specks" of cassiterite detected by Charles Smith (Geevor geologist) in a vein at Piper's Hole in 1979. But other than this we were not aware of any specimens of any visible cassiterite, let alone rich crystals. Clearly, if these shallow, yet fairly extensive, surface trails were ordered by Godolphin as Governor, and bringing over Cornish tinners to do the work, then I always figured that there must have been some indication of

Jenkin were from Tresco and emigrated to Australia soon after their marriage on Tresco in 1863. Ruth's brother Walter and her sister Margaret Mary also emigrated. Walter married Amelia Mumford, daughter of Henry and Fanny Mumford of Tresco in Melbourne in December 1863. I am interested in Borough - is it an area of Tresco or a farm? Both Prideaux and Jenkin family members lived there throughout the 19th century. In the 1841 Census Walter and Peggy Jenkin and their family are listed as living at Borough, as are quite a few other Jenkin(s) families. Some of the men were farmers and others mariners. John Prideaux and his family are listed as living at Borough or Boro through from the 1841 census to the 1881 census. In the 1881

Above: the brown crystals of cassiterite or tin in the granite found by Barry Gamble. Was Scilly once the legendary Cassiterides, the Tin Isles of Herodotus? census John is listed as being a farmer of 4.5 acres at Boro Farm. I was wondering if any of your readers know the history of Borough and would be kind enough to let me know more about it. Leigh Prideaux Carrum, Victoria, Australia Please send any responses to the Editor and they will be published in the next issue.

Shipwrecks, fires and a solar eclipse have all shared pages with news of Tresco’s school, church, sporting activities and waffles with the Commodore, along with the comings and goings of islanders and visitors. n

The Tresco Times continues to report island events, past and present, and looks forward to another twenty years spent making sense of Scilly!

n W

Spr ing 2011 SSUM M ER 2011

www.marinequar terly.com subscribe online


TT autumn 2011_Layout 1 26/09/2011 11:18 Page 10

Page 10 Tresco Times

Emily Ashford’s winning photo - Blockhouse Sunset

Simply Beautiful Winner!

From over 120 entries to the Simply Beautiful Tresco Photo Competition, judges Robert and Lucy Dorrien Smith had to choose a single winner. Lucy described the process as: “...very difficult indeed. The standard was extremely high, with some really superb images. After much thought and consideration, we have chosen Emily Ashford’s Blockhouse Sunset as the winner!”

Christmas on Tresco Tresco’s Christmas Day 2010 saw cloudless blue skies and unbroken sunshine, as the above photograph illustrates (taken by the New Inn’s Rachel Young, just before she tucked into her turkey!). Some guests at the Flying Boat Club even enjoyed their Christmas lunch alfresco on their beachfront terraces. At 9.5C, Tresco was officially the warmest place in the country on Christmas Day. Bookings for this year are being made already and though we cannot promise the same wonderful Blue Christmas, rest assured that Tresco will be full of festive good cheer. And even if the weather is more appropriately seasonal, the island remains a wonderful place to spend Christmas and New Year. As well as rooms at the welcoming New Inn, there is a range of self-catering accommodation available, from traditional cottages to the beachfront houses at the Flying Boat Club. All of these come with their very own Christmas tree, a seasonal hamper, including champagne, wine and assorted local goodies, membership of the Flying Boat Club and leisure spa, and free entry to the Abbey Gardens.

Over Christmas and New Year, eating in or out, Tresco has much to offer. The New Inn is open all day, every day and on Christmas Day will be serving its traditional Christmas Lunch. Booking is essential. Christmas spirit will run freely at the New Inn, even if you are not dining. It is the Christmas Day custom at the pub for everyone’s first drink to be on the house between 12-3pm, so join the rest of the island for a celebratory libation. Our one and only local pub will, as always, be the epicentre of New Year’s Eve celebrations with fancy dress and dancing into the wee small hours of 2012! For those cooking a Christmas feast in their own cottage, your goose, turkey or choice cut can be pre-ordered from Tresco Stores, sourced from the celebrated Vivian Olds of St Just. On Christmas Eve, when Tresco Stores is open until 3pm, customers can enjoy their shopping along with complimentary wine and nibbles. As always the shop will be stocked with everything from vital necessities to luxurious delicacies! The Flying Boat Club will be open every day, except Christmas Day, from 10-5pm offering refreshments and light meals. Over the festivities there will be five dinner and live music evenings – booking is essential! On New Year’s Eve, the clubhouse will be open in the early evening for aperitifs and canapés, along with some live music, to get the celebrations started. Services at St. Nicholas’ Church over the Christmas period will be led by Canon Paul Miller, Vicar of Shortlands and Chaplain to the Queen. A Tresco-regular, Canon Miller first visited Tresco as our locum vicar in 1983 and we are delighted that he has been

On being asked for a comment on her triumph, Emily exclaimed: “Hooray!”, which was just the response the editor was after. She continued: “I have hundreds of pictures of Tresco but I chose this one because it was a bit different and I love the colours.” Emily has been coming to Tresco since she was 8 years old and on her first visit she spent most of her time taking pictures for her Brownies’ Photography Badge. No badge this time, Emily, but dinner for four with two bottles of wine at the Flying Boat Club instead. The range of subject matters varied from a detailed study of a wave to a mossy plant pot from the Abbey Gardens. Tresco beaches, dawns and sunsets figured highly but the overwhelming common denominator was a love of Tresco. The top 25 images will be displayed in two galleries on Tresco’s website www.tresco.co.uk. In addition, every single image that was sent in will be featured on our Tresco Island Facebook page. The Tresco Times would like to thank everybody who took part and congratulates our worthy winner, Emily Ashford.

honoured with a Queen’s Chaplaincy, one of only 34 in the land. On Tresco, unlike the rest of the British Isles, Christmas is a great time for gardens. With exotic aloes, acacias and proteas in flower, the Abbey Gardens are well worth visiting and they are open 10-4pm every day. Coffees, teas and snacks are available. On Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, families are invited to come and follow the garden’s new Valhalla Children’s Trail, involving shipwreck and survival! The trail is designed for under 11s accompanied by an adult. Visit on Boxing Day or New Year’s Day and pick up a trail pack for free! One of the seasonal traditions at the Abbey Gardens is the New Year’s Flower Count. The record is over 200 different species of plant in flower. Visit the garden on 2nd Jan and enjoy a free guided tour of the gardens as the count takes place and help spot the blooms. If you are looking for a special family Christmas in beautiful surroundings or are simply wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of the Oxford Street crowds, and would like further information about coming to Tresco, please call: The Island Office 01720 422849 The New Inn 01720 422844 or visit www.tresco.co.uk


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Page 11 Tresco Times

Day trips & half day trips Birds and wildlife trips Regular ferry services Thrilling jet-boat rides Private charter Gig race trips

Isles of Scilly

Building for Tresco For more information www.bryherboats.co.uk info@bryherboats.co.uk or to book call us on

The Sea Garden Cottages and The Flying Boat Club.

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Cornish Knocker 4.5% Ginger Tosser 3.8% Figgy’s Brew 4.5% Cornish Lager 5.0%

www.skinnersbrewery.com

SEE YOU AT THE NEW INN


TT autumn 2011_Layout 1 26/09/2011 11:18 Page 12

Page 12 Tresco Times

Rainbow House

Barbados

Rainbow House is a family-owned beachfront holiday home on the island of Barbados. Considered a gem amongst the south coast villas, it is situated on a superb white sand beach looking out onto aquamarine waters. Rainbow House has 4 air-conditioned bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom. There is an elegant veranda for dining, with seating for 10 people, as well as a large open terrace with a gas grill/barbecue. For further details please call: 01720 422849 or visit www.tresco.co.uk/accommodation


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Page 13 Tresco Times

Dean Whillis on The Sea Garden Cottages at the Island Hotel It is very pleasing to report that the first phase of the Sea Garden Cottages at the Island Hotel has gone very well and we have all been gratified by the amount of positive feedback that we have received. In particular, there have been many comments complimenting the appearance and quality

include 9 one bedroomed cottages, which can be booked by the night on a dinner, bed and breakfast rate. In addition, to these “hotel rooms�, there will be 7 rental cottages, as well as 9 timeshare properties. With the Ruin beachfront restaurant opening in May as well, we are all looking forward to of the cottages, with their hand-woven fabrics and original artwork, as well as the eco-friendly heating system. One of the many advantages of approaching the project in two phases has been that it has alleviated the anxieties held by some of our regular hotel customers, regarding their future holidays. On completion in May, the Sea Garden Cottages at the Island Hotel will

a very exciting 2012. If you have any queries about timeshare at the Sea Garden Cottages or any other of our properties on Tresco then please do not hesitate to contact me. Dean Whillis 01720 424111


TT autumn 2011_Layout 1 26/09/2011 11:18 Page 14

A Stunning Journey to an Island Paradise

The exclusive operator to fly you direct to Tresco. 01736 363871

www.islesofscillyhelicopter.com


TT autumn 2011_Layout 1 26/09/2011 11:18 Page 15

Page 15 Tresco Times


TT autumn 2011_Layout 1 26/09/2011 11:18 Page 16

Discover the beautiful

Isles of Scilly escape for the day or stay a while

Flights are available to St Mary’s, 6 days a week from Southampton, Bristol and Exeter, during the main season and all year round from Newquay or Land’s End Airports. Whichever route you choose, enjoy spectacular birds eye views and as you approach the Islands, your first glimpse of the Scillonian archipelago will take your breath away as the remote beauty unfolds below.

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Tresco Times Summer 2011 - Volume 6.1  

Twenty years ago, the Tresco Times started as a single-sheet newsletter sent out to 300 timesharers. Today it is mailed out as a 12- page co...